How to pair rosé with anything

Rosé outside

This article was originally published in the Early Summer 2015 issue of Cottage Life magazine. 

There’s no need to blush when you crack open the pink. Once shunned by hard-core red-wine snobs, rosé has undergone a remarkable image transformation as we learn what most Europeans have always known: dry rosé wines are refreshing, food friendly, and perfect for easy summer drinking. New World wine producers are, in turn, increasingly moving away from old-school sweet, pink wines to sophisticated and subtle blush wines ideal for an afternoon refresher.

In a sangria
As we might expect from a wine with an exclamation point in its name, Kim Crawford Pansy! Rosé is bright, bold, and out to have a good time. Its strawberry ­bubble-gum colour and forthright aromas announce its heavy cherry and strawberry overtones. The fact that it’s not exactly subtle makes it an ideal base for a fruity sangria with a splash of soda and garnished with fresh berries.

At the party
A celebration falls flat without bubbles. But, for a change of pace, instead of reaching for the fallback Prosecco, mark the occasion with Codorníu Seleccion Raventos Rosé Cava. Practically a revelatory experience liable to convert the most stalwart sparkling-white fans, this baby-pink wine has a light strawberry aroma, a grapey backbone, robust bubbles, and barely a hint of sugar.

On the dock
Smooth, coral-coloured Marqués de Cáceres Rosado is the picture of dockside summer drinking, with its balance of citrus, berries, spice, and floral notes. It will work with food but is also excellent all on its own, making it the perfect companion for spending a lazy, sun-soaked afternoon on the waterfront.

With a steak 
Crisp, fresh, and clean, Muga Rosé is a no-brainer when you need to pair wine with grilled pork or chicken—it can even hold its own against a lean New York strip. Hailing from Spain’s La Rioja region, Muga is a consistent producer of food-friendly, lightly acidic, dry wines. With its light salmon colour, green-apple nose, and piquant orange accents, this rosado is no exception.

In a pinch
For days when there isn’t enough time to hunt down the vintages, Beringer White Zinfandel is solid, reliable, and available just about everywhere. With its melon and citrus flavours, it’s admittedly slightly sweeter than the more trendy dry pinks, but this Napa Valley bestseller is a consistent crowd-pleaser and an excellent last-minute choice.